Tag Archives: Westport PAL football

Roundup: Holiday Stroll, Farmers’ Market, Bankside House …

A number of new retailers and restaurants have joined the Holiday Stroll.

The December 3 event (5 to 7 p.m., Main Street and environs) is co-sponsored by “06880” and the Westport Downtown Association. There’s kids’ activities (and Santa!) in front of Cold Fusion, special store deals, cocoa and nibbles, and plenty of neighborly fun.

Greens Farms Academy’s Harbor Blues will sing holiday songs at 5 p.m. Staples High School’s Orphenians will follow at 6:30. Both will be at the tent in front of Cold Fusion.

In addition, Nick Calabrese — a professional singer and music teacher — will lead anyone who wants to join in on a carol sing through downtown. It starts at the corner of Main and Elm Streets at 5 p.m., and will head on to Church Lane and back up Main. Everyone is invited to listen — or sing.

A box will be set up for donations for the PAL holiday toy drive. Feel free to bring an unwrapped, new gift (or two!).

(NOTE: There’s still room for a face painter, and other kids’ stuff. If you’ve got a kids’ talent and want to help, email 06880blog@gmail.com).

Meanwhile, here’s the latest list of Holiday Stroll participants:

  • Bartaco: Hot chocolate on their patio
  • Basso:
  • Black Bear Wines & Spirits: 15% off all wines
  • Bobbles & Lace: Glass of wine & Bobbles Bucks ($$$ off your purchase)
  • Bridgewater Chocolates: Complimentary chocolate tastings and hot chocolate
  • Brooks Brothers: The entire store is 30% off all weekend
  • Capuli: Giving out churros
  • Cold Fusion Gelato: Check back soon!
  • Don Memo: Giving out festive adult and children’s beverages
  • Fred: Complimentary holiday treats
  • Jeera Thai: 20% off on takeout meals
  • Joe’s Pizza: Garlic knots
  • Kerri Rosenthal: 15% off read-to-wear and accessories
  • Le Route Aartisan Chocolates: Free hot chocolate
  • Lift Wellness Group: Discount on bundled psychotherapy and nutrition services; gift cards with 10% discount
  • Lux Bond & Green: Refreshments and surprises
  • Manna Toast: Hot chocolate
  • Megan’s Martha’s Vineyard Boutique: 20% off, and a giveaway bundle
  • Moxie Salon & Beauty  Bar: Spin The Wheel to Win! 20% off hair extensions; $20 off voucher; $25, $50, $75, $100, $200 gift certificates; complimentary spray tan or blowout; $50 off Balayyage or Ombre; complimentary makeup application, girls hair tinsel and/or braids
  • Nomade: Candied almonds in bamboo cone, and cookies
  • Noya Jewelry: Hot holiday drinks
  • Rye Ridge Deli: Free hot chocolate, tea, coffee
  • Savvy + Grace: Holiday treat, and mailbox for kids to drop off letters to Santa
  • Scout & Molly’s: 20% off purchase, light snacks
  • Sorelle Gallery: Gif boxes with discounts from 5 to 15% for any Holiday Collection item; light festive refreshments (prosecco, candy canes, sparkling water, etc.)
  • The Cashmere Sale of Westport: Holiday candy
  • The Tailored Home & Studio Café: Complimentary Santa’s cookies and hot chocolate; 50% off sale on all pillows
  • The Toy Post: A small toy for each child
  • Upnorth: 20% off, and a giveaway
  • West: Raffle for $150 gift card (no purchase necessary); winner drawn at 7:30 p.m.
  • Walrus Alley: Happy hour prices for food and drinks
  • Westport Book Shop: Free book, and a coupon for a future visit
  • Winfield Street Street Coffee: Hot cocoa and cruffins (pecan cinnamon rolls with a croissant dough)
  • Yoga45: Participation in a yoga event.

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Former Boston Red Sox pitcher John Trautwein spoke last night at Town Hall on a tough but very important subject: suicide.

He runs the nonprofit Will To Live Foundation. Raising awareness of teen suicide, it is named after Trautwein’s son Will, who took his life. There were no warnings — no signs of anxiety, depression or unhappiness.

His message about his son — a healthy, happy, popular, athletic, and musical teenager, who came from a loving home yet lost the will to live — resonated deeply with the audience.

John Trautwein at Town Hall. (Hat tip and photo/Andrew Colabella)

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Also yesterday: A good crowd showed up yesterday, for the first Winter Westport Farmers’ Market of the season.

They’ll run every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center on Sylvan Lane.

Except next Thursday. It’s Thanksgiving.

But wait! A special Holiday Market is set for next Tuesday (November 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), at Gilbertie’s.

Yesterday’s Winter Farmers’ Market at Gilbertie’s Herbe & Garden Center. (Photo/Matt Murray)=====================================================

Also yesterday: a first look at Bankside House.

That’s the 12-unit condo complex rising on the west bank of the Saugatuck River, at the site of the former Save the Children (and before that, Famous Schools) offices.

The buildings were designed by Roger Ferris + Partners. They’re built by David Waldman’s David Adam Realty and Urbane New Haven, and are marketed by KMS Team, at Compass. They’ll be finished next year.

A view from the penthouse. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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On October 19, our “06880” Roundup included a photo of tree-cutting at 31 Turkey Hill Road South. Soon, the stumps were gone too.

Less than a month later, Bob Weingarten reports, a row of new trees was planted. May they grow tall and strong!

Cut trees on Turkey Hill South (left), October 19; planted trees, November 16. (Photos/Bob Weingarten)

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Staples High School’s girls soccer team battles for its 2nd consecutive state championship this Sunday (November 20). The Wreckers — ranked #3 in the “LL” (extra large schools) division — take on #1 Cheshire. Kickoff is 4 p.m. at Trinity Health (formerly Dillon) Stadium in Hartford.

Meanwhile, you can see Staples’ future football stars in action.

The PAL 7th and 8th grade teams play for the Fairfield County Football  League title tomorrow (Saturday) at Wilton High’s Fujitani Filed. Game times are 4 and 6 p.m.

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People working in the Gorham Island office building have many perks: easy parking. A quick walk to downtown shops and restaurants.

And 2 bald eagles, hanging out in a tree overlooking the Saugatuck River.

Jill McGroarty sent along today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Now back to work Jill!

(Photo/Jill McGroarty)

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And finally … on this day in 1493, Christopher Columbus first sighted the island now known as Puerto Rico.

(Our December 3 Holiday Stroll is just one of “06880”‘s many community projects. Please click here to help support our work.)

 

 

Westport PAL: A Friend To Youth

A Staples High School graduate received a Westport PAL scholarship. Now he’s applying for another.

That’s not unusual. Since 1948, the non-profit has helped local kids in countless ways.

What is unusual is the letter the young man sent. It’s appreciative, insightful, and spot on.

It deserves to be read by many people — not just as an example of how to write a good scholarship application letter, but to shine a light on the work this important organization does every day, often under the radar.

Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the PAL Ellis Scholarship.

PAL represents the best of what local youth programs should be about. I have noted many changes in the universe of youth sports since the days when I played PAL sports.

There seems to be so much pressure on parents and children nowadays to get into the most prestigious clubs for their respective sport, no matter the cost. As a result, I see and hear about many children who feel burnout early on because these profit-first systems seem to forget that youth sports are about community and fun.

These highly paid coaches and sponsored teams may be able to provide world-class coaching an hour away at the price of a new car, but they cannot do what PAL has done for young Westporters like me: make kids fall in love with their
sport.

PAL has always been a huge part of my life. My father played PAL football, and still talks about the wonderful coaches and friends he made to this day.

As soon as I was old enough, I signed up for football in the 3rd grade. Despite being the smallest player on the team and never getting a single touchdown, I was encouraged, welcomed, and treated like I belonged.

When the football season ended, signing up for PAL wrestling was an easy decision, and perhaps one of the best in my life.

I first met Coach Chacho in the Coleytown gym as an elementary schooler. At that time, I had no idea there even was a Wrestling Hall of Fame, much less that Coach Chacho was in it.

John Chacho, longtime Westport PAL wrestling coach.

But he lit the spark in me that still burns bright today. I think about him and his PAL program all the time. Coach Chacho taught us about pride and what was possible with hard work — all the same things I felt with PAL football.

I’ve been fortunate to find success with wrestling, and have attended many amazing camps and clinics. While the technical coaching is great, it’s just not the  same as what the neighborhood volunteer coaches gave me when I first started with PAL.

PAL remained present throughout my high school days, as a huge sponsor of the
wrestling team, even donating our competition mat and supporting the young kids who came in twice a week to practice at Staples. I also got to see my younger brothers follow the same PAL path that I did. I’ve watched these programs have the same impact on them as they had on me.

I am so grateful for the PAL scholarship I was awarded my senior year. I made a promise in my first thank-you letter to honor the organization that gave me so much for so many years. I am constantly working hard every day to keep my promise.

Today I am a sophomore in college, and still thrilled to be wrestling. I am majoring in music and physics (and will likely stay a fifth year for my master’s in that), with a minor in integrated design, engineering and applied sciences. If I am fortunate enough to be selected for the Ellis scholarship, I promise to continue to do everything I can to reflect positively on PAL, and hopefully be able to continue to be associated with the program long after I graduate.

Unsung Hero #207

Scott Turkel raised his children in Weston. But to hundreds of Westport youngsters, he’s their beloved PAL football coach.

Michelle Titlebaum’s son Benji is a Staples High School senior. He started his career on Scott’s 3rd grade team.

His classmates — who knocked off Trumbull last Friday, with a thrilling last-minute interception — are a tight bunch. They’ve been inspired by Scott, who coached them for 2 years. He then spent the next several years coming to all their games — in plenty of sports besides football, too.

Scott Turkel, with a Westport PAL youth team.

His former players always hug him. They’ll do the same this Friday (September 17). Scott will be honored at 7 p.m., before the Wreckers’ home game against St. Joseph.

He’s had health issues. But he’ll be uplifted when he sees his former players again.

They’ll have a special gift for him. Back in 3rd grade, Scott gave his players bricks, as motivational gifts. Most of those players still have theirs.

This time, they’ll give them back to Scott. No matter what the score that night, they — and he — are winners.

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

Scott Turkel last month, at the wedding of a former player’s sister.